|When purchasing restaurant chairs and tables, most buyers try to find the lowest possible price and get the highest quality product, while still staying within their budget. Here are a few tips to assist buyers in getting the highest quality product at the best price.
Be careful buying used restaurant furniture. All qualities of used restaurant chairs and tables can be found in any city in America. Prices can vary widely between used dealers, onsite auctions, and auction houses. Generally, the biggest advantage to choosing used tables and chairs is the lower price; but the lower price comes with a range of negative possibilities. For example, the quantities, color, and quality most likely won't match what you need. Commercial armchairs or side chairs may not match, or even be available. These commercial furnishings may need repairs, or the size may be wrong for their new use. Replacement chairs may be impossible to find or even be discontinued. Even if the original manufacturer can be located, the color may be discontinued or the price and freight of the matching product may be unacceptably high. Typically, used furniture has no warranties, so it's buyer beware.
There are a variety of ways to cut costs when purchasing restaurant chairs from someone other than an experienced furniture dealer. For example, take along a person experienced in repairing and maintaining furniture to view the tables and chairs before bidding on or purchasing them. With this knowledge at your fingertips, a more exact cost to repair or replace the tables can be determined, often saving you frustration and money. For example, a knowledgeable inspection person will know if the restaurant table tops need to be refinished. Restaurant tables are refinished by stripping the old finish, then sanding, staining, and finally refinishing the tops, which can be expensive. Commercial chairs may look good if no one is sitting in them, but may have safety hazards if not closely inspected. If the joints are loose in a wooden chair, or if there are broken spindles; the cost to repair them may outweigh the benefit of the initial low price.
Another consideration to take into account when buying used commercial furnishings is the “look” or initial impression that customers get when they enter your restaurant for the first time. After all, the goal is usually to make a profit at a restaurant. Profits can be hurt if a customer does not feel comfortable on the used furniture, and therefore, does not return. Subconsciously, a customer may be uncomfortable in your restaurant due to the old looking, mismatched, or uncomfortable restaurant chairs or tables. There is something to be said for the adage, “penny wise and pound foolish”.
Be extremely careful if buying retail. Restaurant tables and restaurant chairs are not typically found in retail stores. Dimensions are not always up to commercial restaurant specifications. For example, retail chairs are usually much taller than commercial chairs, which hides the tables and makes it look like there are too many chairs. Retail prices are not a driving force as they can vary widely from commercial chairs or tables from a commercial dealer. The biggest issue in buying retail for a commercial application is the durability of the products. Many retail chairs and tables are made for home use, which is much lighter than what is expected in a commercial application.
In addition, buying retail furnishings for commercial applications can be a big liability issue. A frequently overlooked fact is, that many retail outlets will sell tables and chairs for a commercial application and not notice that their supplier has put in writing, “not to be used in a commercial application”. This means that if a restaurant chair breaks and someone is hurt, it may be up to the restaurant to cover any liability damages from an injured customer. Commercial chair suppliers are usually aware of liability issues and carry product liability insurance for injuries associated with their products.
Typically, retail outlets do have the experience to know about all the needs a buyer of commercial furniture can have. Questions can be asked of retail vendors, but the answers may not be accurate.
Buy from a commercial dealer. Most commercial dealers handle commercial furnishings and buyers every day. The commercial dealer knows the suitability of their commercial products for most restaurant applications. It is important to find a dealer that you can trust, and who can assist you in selecting the appropriate restaurant chair or table. Once the right dealer has been located, the most durable restaurant chairs and tables can be found at the lowest